There were no major shocks of note on day two of the Australian Open, with Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, and Belinda Bencic all easing into round two.
Second-seed Pliskova continued her winning run after lifting the warm-up title in Brisbane with a 6-1 7-5 victory over France’s Kristina Mladenovic.
“It’s a new beginning here,” she said during her on-court interview. “It was a great start and some great matches, so a definite good start to the year.”
“It definitely was a tough first round and a tough draw for me. In the end, I think it was a good test to start with such a high-quality match.”
Wimbledon champion Simona Halep battled to a 7-6 (5) 6-1 victory over big-hitting American Jennifer Brady.
Brady served for the opening set after Halep received treatment to her wrist following a fall and had three set points but the fourth seed dug in to move into round two.
Fifth seed Elina Svitolina defeated Katie Boulter 6-4 7-5 while former Wimbledon and French Open winner Garbine Muguruza, who has been battling illness, recovered from losing the first set to love to Shelby Rogers to win 0-6 6-1 6-0.
Sixth seed Belinda Bencic was a 6-3 7-5 winner over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and there were also victories for in-form youngsters Dayana Yastremska and Elena Rybakina.
Yastremska, seeded 23, next faces Caroline Wozniacki in what could be the final match of the Dane’s career.
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